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Finishing Education Despite Blindness
blindnessA student at Texas Tech lost his vision after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor.  Colin Baxter, 22, a senior at Texas Tech, underwent a 14-hour surgery to remove some of a tumor that (among other things) put pressure on his optic nerve causing him to go blind. Following the surgery, Baxter woke up to find he was now living with blindness. In spite of his unfortunate discovery, Colin decided he was not going to let his disability prevent him from finishing his education.

“Being a history major, I’m not the first blind person and I won’t be the last, so it's just kind of making a conscious decision, you can be angry or disappointed and I’m just happy to be alive,” Baxter said.

If vision loss affecting your life quality, SDCB offers many programs that can help.

“Texas Tech student returns for senior year after battle with blindness”

Posted in Blindness | 1 Comment(s)
Blind Student Recounts Story of Getting Her First Guide Dog
blindUSF student Zoe Garcia has – like all visually impaired people – dealt with significant challenges in her life; then she was matched with a black lab guide dog named Fezzi who is helping the young student work towards her dreams. Zoe has a genetic eye condition called Bilateral Colobomas; the disease causes degenerative eyesight and retinal detachment issues.

“I’ve had her for a month now, and I just feel like I can do a lot of things that I didn’t use to do by myself. I go out more, I explore more,” said Garcia.

If you require assistance, SDCB can help you regain your independence. We invite you to learn more about our programs.

“'I've been alone a long time': Blind USF student tells story of getting her first guide dog”

Posted in Blind | View Post
Blind Classical Singer Joins Forces With His Son
blindBlind tenor and award-winning classical singer Andrea Bocelli is joining forces with his youngest son, Matteo. The duet can be heard performing together on Bocelli’s first album with new songs in 14 years. Interestingly, Bocelli first discovered his son could sing just two years ago.

"Because he stayed at the piano, he knows music just for this… And one time his mother came to me and said, 'Have you heard Matteo sing?' And I said no. And she said, 'Listen to him because he's very nice,'" Andrea recalled.

If you are blind or visually impaired, please contact SDCB to learn more about the programs we offer.

“Andrea Bocelli didn't know his son could sing until 2 years ago – now they're teaming up”

Posted in Blind | View Post
Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month
eye diseaseNovember is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month! Diabetes is one of the more common causes of eye disease and vision loss; diabetes is, in fact, the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults, according to Prevent Blindness America. This month, our goal is to encourage more people with diabetes to seek care for vision problems.

Please contact the San Diego Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired if you require assistance. We offer several innovative programs to help people with blinding eye diseases.

“November Is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month: Learn More About Diabetes and Your Eyes”

Posted in eye disease | View Post
Advancing Blindness Research Through Eye Bonds
blindnessWith Veterans Day on the horizon, it is important to remember the 1 million veterans have suffered visual impairment; 130,000 service men and women are living in blindness. Lawmakers hope to one day restore vision for Veterans through the Faster Treatments and Cures for Eye Diseases Act (H.R. 6421). The bipartisan bill would give birth to Eye Bonds that finance research for the entire eye. Eye bonds could help new research get from the first stage to federal regulatory approval.

Please contact SDCB for more information about how our programs can assist you with vision loss.

“Honor blind veterans by advancing vision-restoring treatments”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Protecting Against Blindness With Medication
blindnessA new study shows that diabetes medication can do more than influence blood-sugar levels. The research indicates that metformin, a common diabetes medication, could protect against blindness. Researchers found that patients taking the drug had a significantly lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration or AMD. The findings were presented at an American Academy of Ophthalmology conference. 

“Our study is the first to reveal the protective effect of metformin on the development of AMD,” lead investigator Yu-Yen Chen said in a statement. “While more study is required to determine just how metformin protects against the development of AMD, this is an exciting development for patients at risk.”

We invite you to learn more about the programs offered at SDCB for people living with blindness or visual impairment.

“This common diabetes medication may protect against blindness, study says”

Posted in Research and Medical Advancements | View Post
From Blindness to Art Therapy
blindnessAlbert Jordan Arguilla, born with septo-optic dysplasia – the disease caused total blindness in his right eye and partial vision in his left eye – is a Southwestern College Arts Major. He plans to become an art therapist so that he can help others with disabilities. After all, painting helped Arguilla cope with his visual impairment; he says that art helped him deal with his depression.

“The only thing I’ve wanted more than becoming an artist is helping people,” he said. “Whether it’s to help people through their hardships and struggles, helping them find their way in life, or helping them reach their dreams and goals through art or not. I feel like I can do all that and more by pursuing art therapy.”

If you need assistance, SDCB offers several programs to aid people living with vision loss.

“Blind student finds his flow with painting”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Working Around Blindness to Paint
blindnessIt is astonishing the things that human beings can accomplish in spite of disabilities. Those living with blindness prove – time-and-time-again – that nothing is impossible. For one artist, living with vision loss hasn’t kept her from pursuing her passion. Kate Cardamone is legally blind; with the help of those she loves and technology, Kate is able to create masterpieces.

“...I want to give people hope that have eye diseases,” says Cardamone.

SDCB offers many programs to assist people living with blindness. Please contact us to learn how we can help improve your life quality.

Artist Kate Cardamone Works Around Blindness

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Halloween Contact Lenses Can Cause Blindness
blindnessToday is Halloween! If you are planning on dressing up and your costume includes fun-looking contact lenses, please consider the risks. The Association of Optometrists warns that costume contact lenses can hurt people’s eyes and even cause blindness. Research shows that fun contact lenses are poor quality and are more likely to carry harmful bacteria.

“Firstly, cosmetic contact lenses are more difficult to clean and sterilise because of the materials they are made of and the pigments which colour them, said Optometric Advisor Lynda McGivney Nolan, for the Association of Optometrists Ireland. “The second major risk is that the lenses are not fitted by a registered practitioner, so adherence to safe insertion and removal are often not practised, resulting in a very high level of complications.”

If you or a loved one are living with blindness, then SDCB can help. Our programs help the visually impaired regain their sense of independence.

Irish eye experts warn against using cosmetic Halloween contact lenses due to ‘high level of complications’

Posted in Blindness | 1 Comment(s)
Identifying Genes That Cause Blindness
blindnessGenetic eye diseases disrupt the lives of one or two people out of every 10,000. Lea Bennett is a researcher studying the genetic causes of blindness; together with eye surgeon Dr. Sun Young Lee, she is opening a clinic for patients living with inherited conditions that eventually result in blindness. The recent FDA approval of Luxturna, a drug used to treat one form of inherited eye disease, gives hope that other genetic mutations that cause blindness could someday have a treatment option.

Please contact SDCB if you require assistance. We offer several programs for the blind and visually impaired.

New Dean McGee clinic studies genetic causes of blindness

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The Blind Gift is a Story About Living With Blindness
blindnessCassandra Foster, 47, is the author and publisher of "The Blind Gift;" a book which recounts her experience living with retinitis pigmentosa. The rare disorder damages cells in the retina which causes blindness. Her goal wasn’t just to tell a good story; she wanted to accomplish something. Despite her vision loss, Foster leads a remarkable life!

"I wanted to say, 'I accomplished something,'" Foster said. "Because, honestly, I felt inadequate. I felt like, 'Where was my value?' What was my worth?' I wanted to live for something than being more than just a wife, a mother and a sister.' I had no aspirations to write a book. I didn't even know a book was in me."

SDCB offers several programs to assist people living with blindness; please reach out to us to learn more.

Joliet woman writes about her experience with blindness

Posted in Blind Library - Books | View Post
Learning About Blindness On White Cane Day
blindnessWhite Cane Day celebrates people living with blindness! However, the observance is often used as an opportunity to educate people about vision loss. At Garfield Elementary in Washington State, students walked around with canes to get a better understanding of what a day-in-the-life is like for six of their fellow students. Wearing blindfolds, the students also played beep kickball.

"It's very fun seeing other kids do what we do," said Sadie, who has septo-optic dysplasia.

Please contact SDCB if blindness or visual impairment is affecting your life quality, we can help.

White Cane Day gives students new understanding of blindness

Posted in Advocacy and Events | View Post
Stroke Victims Can Experience Vision Loss
vision lossMany people understand that those who suffer a stroke are at risk of having a dropped face on one side and difficulty speaking; it is fair to say that the majority of individuals are unaware that strokes can affect vision. What’s more, stroke-related vision problems can be hard to treat, according to the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB). Stroke victims can have field of vision deficiencies; it can be hard to see either left or right.

“Sight problems are more common when you suffer a stroke affecting the right side of your brain,” said RNIB. “The damage caused by a stroke in your brain impacts the visual pathways of your eye which can result in visual field loss including central vision blurry vision, double vision and processing of visual information [making sense of the things you are seeing].”

San Diego Center for the Blind can assist people in California living with vision loss. Please contact us to learn more.

Stroke warning: Does your vision look like this? Reveal your risk by simply looking around

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Online Vision Screenings Do Not Detect Eye Diseases
eye diseasesHaving regular eye exams is a proactive way to prevent or address common eye diseases; an eye specialist in an office usually conducts such procedures. In the age of the internet, it’s possible to do online vision screenings for determining if you need corrective lenses. However, such processes are not a substitute for eye exams administered by ophthalmologists. What is more, the American Optometric Association (AOA) puts forth that online screenings are known to provide faulty information.

“The AOA’s primary concern is that patient health and safety is at risk due to lack of understanding as to what services an online vision test company actually offers and can deliver to consumers,” said Steven Loomis, former AOA president.

Please reach out to SDCB to learn more about how we can assist you with your vision loss.

Online vision screenings increasing, but find out why experts say they’re dangerous

Posted in eye diseases | View Post
First Gene Therapy Trial for a Genetic Cause of Blindness
blindnessFindings published in Nature Medicine reveal positive takeaways from a gene therapy trial for choroideremia, a genetic cause of blindness. Among the 14 participants in the trial, the entire group showed a significant gain in vision. Patients were treated with an injection to the eye that contained a virus hosting the missing gene. Of the 12 patients that had no complications, 100% either gained or maintained vision for at least five years (the time of the last follow up).

“The early results of vision improvement we saw have been sustained for as long as we have been following up these patients and in several the gene therapy injection was over 5 years ago,” said Professor Robert MacLaren, the ophthalmologist who led the trial. “The trial has made a big difference to their lives.” 

If you or a loved one is struggling with a visual impairment, SDCB can help. Please contact us today.

Blind Gain Sight in Gene Therapy Trial

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Some Babies Have An Increased Risk of Blindness
blindnessGenerally speaking, babies born prematurely are at a heightened risk of experiencing health problems; and, in some cases, they can be severe. A joint study between researchers in Sweden and the United States reveals that preemies with low levels of platelets in their blood have a much higher risk of developing a harsh variation of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The condition often leads to blindness.

"I believe this paves the way for completely new therapeutic possibilities and also for new research domains for both pathological and normal vascular development," says Ann Hellstrom, professor of pediatric ophthalmology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and a chief physician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

San Diego Center for The Blind and Visually Impaired can help improve the life quality of those living with vision loss. We invite you to take a closer look at our programs.

Premature babies with low levels of blood platelets have increased risk of blindness

Posted in Blindness | 1 Comment(s)
Research Grants for Reducing Avoidable Blindness
blindnessSome 13 million people in the U.S. could be struggling with low vision! A partnership between Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) and Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) will continue in the RPB/LCIF Low Vision Research Award. The organizations will grant one award of $300,000 each year in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The research grants are part of a commitment to end infectious blindness, reduce avoidable blindness and visual impairment.

“We thank LCIF for their significant and continued funding partnership to make these grants possible,” says RPB President Brian F. Hofland, Ph. D.  “Low vision is a major, neglected and specific chronic condition with a variety of causes and a common outcome: permanently reduced vision that cannot be improved with current available vision interventions such as eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicines or surgery.  With these grants we are asking leading scientists to expand key knowledge and develop new treatment approaches, with the goal of making life better for persons with low vision and with some remaining sight."

San Diego Center for the Blind can help you or a loved one living with a blinding eye disease. Please contact us for more information.

Research to Prevent Blindness and Lions Club International Foundation to Continue Low Vision Research Award Partnership

Posted in Awards - Vision Related | View Post
Chiropractic Manipulation Leading to Vision Loss
vision lossVisiting the chiropractor is a routine experience for many Americans, but in some cases the results are hardly routine. In fact, forceful manipulation of a person’s neck can result in severe injury, including vision loss.  Yannis Paulus, M.D., a retina specialist at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, suggests that people inform their physicians before seeing chiropractors and consider how high-velocity neck manipulation can stress the eyes.

"Chiropractic manipulation has been associated with numerous eye conditions, primarily due to harm of the carotid artery," says Paulus, of a major artery bringing blood to the brain and head.

SDCB can assist people living with vision loss in leading more independent lives. Please contact us to learn more!

Chiropractic Treatment and Vision Loss: Examining the Connection

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Mediterranean Diet Protects Against Blindness
blindnessDiet is believed to play a role in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. A large study conducted by researchers in Europe found that individuals who stick to a Mediterranean diet reduce their risk of AMD significantly—41 percent. The findings of the research can be reviewed in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. 

"You are what you eat," said Emily Chew, M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "I believe this is a public health issue on the same scale as smoking. Chronic diseases such as AMD, dementia, obesity, and diabetes, all have roots in poor dietary habits. It's time to take quitting a poor diet as seriously as quitting smoking."

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs.

New study confirms Mediterranean diet prevents a leading cause of blindness

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Freshman Running Back Living WIth Blindness
blindnessAdonis Watt lost his eyesight at the age of 5, the result of rare congenital glaucoma. Adonis decided that he would not let his vision loss prevent him from being an athlete like the rest of his family members. The freshman running back dreams of one day being a force to reckon with in the NFL. Watt has undergone several procedures to improve his vision, but it’s possible that the condition could correct itself.

"Go do what you got to do. Live life because you only live once," said Adonis.

San Diego Center for the Blind offers several programs that can help people living with blindness or visual impairment.

“Blindness won't stop high school running back Adonis Watt”

Posted in Blind Athlete | View Post
Eye Infections Causing Blindness
blindnessA growing number of patients are being diagnosed with a rare eye infection that can cause blindness. Research appearing in the British Journal of Ophthalmology shows that some people who wear contact lenses are at risk of exposure to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a microscopic amoeba that infects the cornea. The amoebas are often found in water; people who rinse their lenses with water rather than solution are at a heightened risk. The infection is more common in the U.K.

“We think any water exposure is a risk for the disease,” John Dart, a professor at University College London, author on the study. “Unlike bacteria infections which are more common, this is 90 percent preventable.”

Please contact San Diego Center for the Blind to learn more about our programs for people living with visual impairments.


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Millions of Dollars for Tackling Blindness
blindnessIn the next two decades the number of diabetes cases around the world is expected to increase by 50 percent. The rise means that a staggering amount of people are at risk of severe health conditions, including blindness. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a $2.8 million grant to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to aid in the discovery of new treatments for diabetic blindness.

“We hope our findings will result in a diagnostic for early prediction of disease severity, development of new biomarkers, and improved therapeutic targets that may prevent the progression of diabetic retinopathy,” said Dr. Sampath Rangasamy, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor in TGen’s Neurogenomics Division, and the study’s Principal Investigator at TGen.

SDCB can help improve your life quality with the help of our innovative programs. Please contact us to learn more.

“$2.8M TGen grant will address diabetic blindness”

Posted in Research and Medical Advancements | View Post
Blindness Cannot Stand In the Way of the Finish Line
blindnessA Las Vegas mother plans to tackle a marathon this November. While plenty of moms attempt and complete such feats, Terri Rupp intends to cross the finish line despite living with blindness. Rupp, a mother to two and the president of the National Federation of the Blind of Nevada, was diagnosed at roughly five years old with optic nerve atrophy, an often progressive disease that damages the nerve connecting the eyes to the brain, and causes blindness. The condition is incurable.

“Disability doesn’t define us,” she says. “What defines us is how we live our lives."

Please contact San Diego Center for the Blind to learn more about our exciting programs.

Blindness Can't Stop Me from Living the Life I Want to Live

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Working for the Atlanta Braves Despite Blindness
blindnessLifelong Atlanta Braves fan Katie Hearn started losing her eyesight at 28. Thanks to her dogged determination Hearn was able to hit a home run, scoring a job with the baseball team she loves. Katie was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri, a rare disorder that leads to blindness. Despite her impairment, she’s got a dream job in the social media department for the Braves.

“When I realized my vision was not going to return, and I was going to have to learn a new normal, I made a choice to not let it define me,” she said. “There were two factors I could control: attitude and effort. Being positive and working hard to use the strengths I still have were, and continue to be, a priority.”

San Diego Center for the Blind can help you lead a more independent life; please contact us to learn more.

Blindness couldn’t keep young woman away from dream job

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Aira Helps Visually Impaired Shoppers See
visually impairedIt is no secret that sighted men and women take what seems like the simplest things for granted, such as choosing the color or brand of a particular item. The same goes for grocery shopping, deciding on Folgers Coffee over Maxwell House is easy even though they both come in practically the same packaging. Now the visually impaired can receive assistance in exercising discretion at the grocery store aided by an app service known as Aira. Blind shoppers at Wegmans, at nearly 100 stores in six states, can use the service which connects the user to a live operator who instructs the shopper on what they are looking at via the smartphone camera.

Please reach out to SDCB to learn more about our innovative programs for the blind and visually impaired.

Blind Grocery Shoppers Access 'Second Set Of Eyes' Through App At Wegmans

Posted in Visually Impaired | 1 Comment(s)
A Play About Blindness
blindnessShortly after her birth, actor and writer Anna Shiels-McNamee’s father lost his vision. Retinitis Pigmentosa left her father living with blindness, a reality that would impact Shiels-McNamee’s life significantly. She is hopeful that her performance will help raise awareness about those who are living with disabilities and lead to greater dialogue.

“My dad was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) before I was born. It is an inherited condition, passed onto him by his parents. It is a condition that gradually gets worse and is quite a slow process. By the time I was born, when he was around 31, he had lost a good bit of his sight and soon after he went totally blind. I have never known him with sight.”

‘My Dad’s Blind,’ will premiere at the Dublin Fringe Fest.

SDCB offers several programs for people living with blindness; please contact us to learn more.

Local woman writes play about living with a blind father

Posted in Arts and Culture | View Post
The Potential of Macular Degeneration Treatments
macular degenerationAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that afflicts more than 9 million Americans - millions more worldwide – and it often results in severe vision loss. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projects that the number of people 50 and older with early-stage AMD will nearly double to 17.8 million in the United States by 2050. Several companies have developed or are developing treatments to keep the condition from progressing. Such therapies could help with other diseases, as well.

“The retina’s accessible and a really good target,” said Ben Shaberman, an official at the Foundation Fighting Blindness. “If you get things to work in the retina, there’s a good chance you could apply them to neurodegenerative disorders of the brain or the central nervous system.”

The San Diego Center for the Blind can assist people with macular degeneration improve life quality; please contact us to learn more.

Hope for new macular degeneration treatments buoys patients

Posted in Research and Medical Advancements | View Post
Dancing With the Stars Despite Vision Loss
vision lossLast week, ABC's "Good Morning America" announced the contestants in this coming season of "Dancing With the Stars." Now, you may be wondering what ballroom dancing has to do with vision loss; the answer, one of the contestants in this year's competition, Danelle Umstead, lost her vision due to retinitis pigmentosa. Umstead is an American Alpine skier and Paralympian who won a bronze medal at the 2010 Winter Paralympics.

Please contact SDCB to learn more about the programs we offer; we can help people living with vision loss in California regain their independence.

“'Dancing With the Stars' new cast announced

Posted in Blind and Vision Impaired Heroes Stories | View Post
MLB Players Wear Braille Lettering on Jerseys
BrailleMerle Caples is an Orioles’ fan and has been one for almost 60 years now. While she once watched the team play with her eyes, now her ears keep her head in the game. Despite Caples’ (95) blindness, she still follows her team diligently. On September 18, 2018, in honor of Caples’ steadfast dedication and other fans living with vision loss, the Orioles will host National Federation of the Blind Night. During the occasion, Orioles players and coaches will wear jerseys with their names spelled in Braille.

“It doesn’t stop you from rooting for them,” Caples said of her disability.

SDCB offers many programs that can enhance life quality for people struggling with vision loss.

Sight to behold: Orioles to wear Braille lettering on jerseys on National Federation of the Blind Night

Posted in Braille | View Post
Focusing On Eye Health During Healthy Aging Month
eye healthA University of Michigan-AARP National Poll on Healthy Aging indicates that primary care providers (PCPs) could do more to promote eye care for people over the age of 50. The poll of 2,013 adults, ages 50 to 80, was conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and it shows that 18 percent of respondents have not had their eyes checked in three years or more. Eye exams are one of the most effective methods of identifying eye disease and preventing vision loss. During Healthy Aging Month this September, Americans over 50 are encouraged to have their eyes checked.

"Vision loss affects an older adult's overall health, risk of falling, social interactions, and quality of life," says Alison Bryant, Ph.D., senior vice president of research for AARP.

San Diego Center for the Blind offers several innovative programs for people living with vision loss. Please contact us to learn more.

Focus on aging eyes: Poll finds primary care providers play key role in eye care after 50

Posted in Advocacy and Events | View Post
Blindness Leads Artist to Develop Paint Braille System
blindnessFormer art teacher, Ron Ferguson’s passion for painting, continues even though he is living with blindness. In an effort to keep track of each color of paint he is using, Ferguson created a paint bottle braille system. The technique allows him to identify primary colors, which then enables him to mix up other hues. His wife initially helps him identify each color so that he can label the bottles correctly.

“At the top of the paint I put one ball for yellow, two for red, and three for blue,” says Ferguson.

SDCB can help anyone living with blindness or visual impairment lead a more independent life! Please click here to learn more.

Local artist experiences blindness, develops “paint braille system” to continue doing what he loves

Posted in Blindness | View Post
First Blind Person to Row Across the Pacific
blindAfter 82 days at sea, a 57-year-old blind man from South Brent, Devon, finished rowing across the Pacific Ocean with his teammate. The race began in Monterey, California, this June and was to be 2,400 miles to the finish line in Hawaii. However, severe weather conditions meant the pair would row approximately 3,000 miles before it was all over. Steve Sparkes is the first blind person to row across the world's biggest ocean.

"The rewards having achieved it far outweigh any downside and has made me feel exceptionally boosted. I am sure that feeling will last a long time."

The San Diego Center for the Blind offers several innovative programs for helping people living with blindness.

Royal Marine Steve Sparkes battles hurricane to become first blind person to row across Pacific

Posted in Blind | View Post
New Test for River Blindness
blindnessKim Janda, of the Scripps Research Institute, led the development of a new test for river blindness. The condition is the result of a parasitic tropical infection common in sub-Saharan Africa that affects more than 18 million people. The practical test for the disease does not require access to a laboratory; now the infection is diagnosable with a dipstick urine test. Research on the test appears in the journal ACS Infectious Diseases.

“It’s one of the things on my bucket list,” said Janda. “I wish we could've done it quicker, but we had to learn a lot of things, and there wasn't a lot known.”

If you are struggling with vision loss, please reach out to SDCB.

After an epic research journey, an inexpensive, practical test for river blindness

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Ocular Syphilis Can Cause Blindness
blindnessThe STD syphilis may seem like a condition that no longer affects people; however, there is a marked rise in syphilis cases around the world. This is critical to organizations working with the blind, because people who are exposed are at risk of blindness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that occurrences in the United States have more than doubled from 2.1 cases per 100,000 people in 2000 to 5.3 cases per 100,000 in 2013. A study on the heightened risk of ocular syphilis appears in the journal Scientific Reports.

“The 1990s and 2000s indicated that ocular syphilis was a rare diagnosis, accounting for less than 2 percent of all cases of uveitis [inflammation inside the eye],” co-author of the study, Joao Marcello Furtado from USP, said in a statement. “More recent reports describe cohorts of up to 85 patients with ocular syphilis in the Americas, countries in Europe, and parts of Australasia which shows it’s not only a problem in Brazil.”

SDCB can help improve the life quality of people living with visual impairments. Please contact us to learn more!


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Visually Impaired Man Receives Wonderful Gift
visually impaired"When it rained, he had to sit in certain spots so the rain wouldn't pour in on him," said Mike Graham, about his neighbor's camper. "He had no running water, no heat, no nothing."

Graham decided to take action and organized getting his neighbor, Alex Bustos, a new camper. Bustos, who is visually impaired, had already been receiving assistance from Graham in the way of groceries, accounting, and trailer repairs. Mike decided that Bustos home was too far gone for repair.

If you are visually impaired and need assistance, please contact SDCB. We offer several programs that can improve your life quality.

Good Samaritan surprises man who has blindness with new home

Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Young Piano Talent Living With Blindness
blindnessDavid Lai, spent the summer at Brevard Music Center honing his piano talent. Nobody can deny Lai’s skill, which he mastered even though he is living with blindness. Playing the piano has enabled Mr. Lai to traverse obstacles in his life since childhood. Lai’s vision loss stems from oxygen therapy at birth; he was born 10-weeks premature with underdeveloped lungs.

“Find your interest, your passion in life. And to never give up and to hold onto your dreams and never give up," Lai said.

SDCB offers many programs that can assist people living with blindness.

Promising piano player who spent summer at Brevard Music Center isn't defined by blindness

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Reversing Congenital Blindness
blindnessResearchers have found a method for reversing congenital blindness in mice. The technique involves changing cells in the retina – called Müller glia – into rod photoreceptors, light-sensitive cells which help people see in low light. The findings of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study appear in the journal Nature.

"Rods allow us to see in low light, but they may also help preserve cone photoreceptors, which are important for color vision and high visual acuity," said Thomas N. Greenwell, program director for retinal neuroscience at the National Eye Institute.

More research is needed to determine if the technique could work on humans.

Please contact San Diego Center for the Blind if you are living with vision loss, we offer several innovative programs.

Researchers reverse congenital blindness in mice, study finds

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Making the Most Out of Blindness
blindnessDaria Finley is living with blindness because of glaucoma, but she has not let her condition hold her back, and she is trying things for the first time. Since going blind, Finley is modeling, she has acted in a short film, and she wrote a one-woman play about her experiences and was the star. Blindness can be the beginning of a new chapter in life, not the end of a person’s story.

SDCB offers several programs designed to help people living with blindness. Please contact us to learn more.

Daria Finley uses her blindness to fuel creativity

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Glaucoma May Be An Autoimmune Disease
glaucomaNew research presents evidence that glaucoma may be the result of the immune system deteriorating eye cells; the condition often leads to vision loss. Even though glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world, researchers know very little about the disease. The findings open “a new approach to prevent and treat glaucoma," says study author Jianzhu Chen, an MIT professor of biology.

The research appears in the journal Nature Communications.

SDCB can help anyone living in California with blinding eye diseases. Please contact us to learn more.

Could glaucoma be an autoimmune disease? New findings raise possibility

Posted in Glaucoma | View Post
Speeding Up Blindness
blindnessPractically every American spends too much time on their digital devices. For many, the thought of life without a smartphone is surreal. While technology makes everyone’s life a little bit easier, a new study suggests that the blue light emitted from smartphones, laptops, and televisions can lead to macular degeneration and blindness. If the research holds true, we can all benefit from moderating our smartphone exposure.

"We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye's cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it," said Ajith Karunarathne, co-author of the study. "It's no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eye's retina. Our experiments explain how this happens, and we hope this leads to therapies that slow macular degeneration, such as a new kind of eye drop."

Please contact SDCB for more information about our innovative programs.

Smartphones Speed Up Blindness

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Bringing Child Eye Health Into Focus
eye healthThe North Carolina Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are observing Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month this August. The goal is to encourage parents to recognize the importance of vision and learning how to protect children's eyes for the future.

The four tips include:

1. Get regular childhood vision screenings.
2. Know and share your family’s health history.
3. Watch children for signs of eye problems.
4. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports.

With the school year on the horizon, parents in every state can take steps to focus on eye health.

Please contact SDCB if you are struggling with a blinding eye disease. We offer several innovative programs to assist you with day-to-day life.

Four tips for children’s eye health

Posted in Eye Health | View Post
A Link Between Human Blindness and Pigeon Wing Patterns
blindnessA team of researchers at the University of Utah discovered a single gene that influences the wing pattern of pigeons and human blindness. Variations in the gene mentioned above decide which of the four different feather patterns a pigeon will develop. The genetic research on pigeon wing patterns revealed a link to humans living with blindness.

“The gene that we ended up finding associated with the wing patterns is pretty well studied in humans in the context of a hereditary disease that causes blindness," said Anna Vickrey, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah and the lead investigator of this new research.

SDCB can help you improve your life quality; please contact us to learn more about our programs.

New Study Finds Unexpected Connection Between Pigeon Feather Patterns And Human Blindness

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New Device Helps People Living With Blindness
blindnessPatrick Antaki, a former Olympian and defense contractor, is working on a device that helps older people living with blindness resulting from macular degeneration and diabetes. The Evergaze seeBoost helps the elderly see better, allowing users to sew, read or notice facial cues. seeBoost rests on a person's reading glasses and significantly magnifies what is in front of the wearer. 

The Evergaze product is almost ready to go to mass-market.

Please reach out to SDCB to learn more about our exciting programs for people living with blindness.

How this DFW entrepreneur, and former Olympian, uses tech to combat blindness

Posted in Assistive Technology | View Post
Timing Cues Help Blind People Navigate
blindThere is a common belief that blind people experience heightened auditory and olfactory abilities, hearing and smell. However, a new study indicates that blind people have more of a challenge determining the location where sounds originate. The researchers found that such people needed additional timing cues to accurately decide the location of sounds played from a line of speakers. 

"This work teaches us that our audio-space representation is mediated by our visual experience," says first author Monica Gori of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. "In absence of vision, auditory spatial skills are not always enhanced - and in some cases, such as in the space bisection task studied here, these can be impaired."

Please contact us to learn more about our innovative programs for people living with vision loss.

Study finds blind people depend on timing cues for some spatial awareness

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A Young Boy On The Verge of Blindness
blindnessA new foreign film titled “Ya Veremos,” centers on a young boy named Santi who is going to have surgery that will either fix his visual impairment or result in permanent blindness. His parents ask the boy to make a list of all the things he would like to see before the big day, just in case the operation doesn’t go as planned. The film was released on August 3, 2018, and will be in American theaters on August 31.

SDCB offers many programs that can help people struggling with vision loss; please contact us to learn more.

Ya Veremos

Posted in Blindness | View Post
IrisVision Helps People Living WIth Vision Loss
vision lossThose living with macular degeneration can experience blurred vision or 'blind spots,' but a new virtual reality headset expands the user's peripheral vision and cancels out the blind spots. IrisVision relies on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone to record what the wearer sees and then it zooms in to make the blind spots disappear. The result: vision acuity goes from 20/400 to as high as 20/30. IrisVision was created by scientists at Johns Hopkins, The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, and UC Berkeley.

"Everything around the blind spot looks, say, 10 times bigger, so the relative size of the blind spot looks so much smaller that the brain can't perceive it anymore," said Tom Perski at IrisVision.

Please contact San Diego Center for the Blind to learn how we can help improve your life quality.

Hope for millions with vision loss: Virtual reality headset allows legally blind people to see their surroundings and read

Posted in Assistive Technology | View Post
Turmeric Eye Drops May Prevent Blindness
blindnessDo you like Indian food? If so, it may be that you are a fan of a colorful spice called turmeric. The bright orange powder has long been thought to have healing properties, and it turns out that it could prove beneficial for people living with blindness. More than 60 million people are living with deteriorating vision across the globe. New research suggests that the progression of vision loss in people with glaucoma could be slowed by administering eye-drops made from turmeric.

“We believe our findings could make a major contribution at helping the lives of people affected by these devastating diseases,” said study lead author, Francesca Cordeiro.

Please contact San Diego Center for the Blind if you require assistance adjusting to life with vision loss. We offer many programs that can improve your life quality.


Posted in Blindness | View Post
Musician Plays On Despite Blindness
blindnessOne of the planet’s premier keyboardists, composer, producer, and recording engineer has lived with macular degeneration since he was a young boy; but, blindness doesn't deter Rave Tesar! In fact, Rave started performing professionally by the age of 15 and was working full-time by 18. Tesar will be teaching a free master class on the keyboard with fellow musician Jason Miles on Sept. 30.

“I’ve had a very rare condition called adolescent macular degeneration since I was 10,” says Tesar.

The programs offered at SDCB can drastically improve the lives of people living with vision loss; please reach out to our team to learn more.

Blindness doesn’t slow down renowned Warwick musician

Posted in Arts and Culture | View Post
Researchers Discover Blindness Gene
blindnessResearchers from Pakistan, USA, and the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, investigated a recessive genetic disorder that prevents the eyes from developing and leads to childhood blindness, and they believe they have found the cause. The research led to the discovery of pathogenic mutations in a new gene, MARK3. The findings, published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, could lead to diagnostic services and personalized treatments for the blinding genetic disorder. 

“We can now concentrate on studying the mechanisms behind the disorder with the aim of finding a treatment,” said Stylianos Antonarakis, a professor Emeritus in UNIGE’s Faculty of Medicine.

San Diego Center for the Blind offers unique and innovative programs to assist people living with blindness and visual impairments. Please contact us to learn more!

Blindness Gene Identified

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Testing for Color Blindness in Schools
blindnessThis Fall, students in Roanoke City, Virginia, schools will undergo testing for color blindness, thanks to a local mother who states that Color Vision Deficiency could be a real problem in the classroom. Elizabeth Martin’s eldest son is diagnosed with color blindness. The condition makes doing classroom work a real challenge.

"When we were growing up, everything was black and white so it wasn't as much of an issue," Martin said. "But as the classroom has become more colorful, it becomes more important to try to make it less colorful for kids with color vision deficiency."

Please contact SDCB if you or your loved one is struggling with vision loss. We offer many programs that can help.

Roanoke mom helps bring colorblind testing to local schools

Posted in Blindness | 1 Comment(s)
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